Hillel the Tai Chi master

was Hillel a Tai Chi master?

Two geeks with whom I once worked (both of whom used to be grad­u­ate stu­dents in lin­guis­tics: she’s now a soft­ware engi­neer, he’s free­lance writer on com­put­er (Mac­in­tosh) sub­jects (and the com­put­ergeek who helped me being my site)) inde­pen­dent­ly stud­ied Tai Chi in their spare time (they were sin­gle at the time).

Now and then I would see them stand­ing in one an oth­ers office with one foot off the ground.

I asked them about this and they explained that this is the “basic” Tai Chi pos­ture. You are to bal­ance as though a rope holds you up through the cen­ter of your body.

I told them of Sham­mai, Hil­lel and the Ger and their faces lit up in appre­ci­a­tion.

Long ago I recall a com­ment by Zal­man Schachter-Shalo­mi (then only Schachter) to the effect that Sham­mai was a mas­ter of the Zen Koan.

Could Hil­lel have been a Tai Chi mas­ter?

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